It would be easy to put Advent on the back burner, forgetting that it is a time when we rejoice and give God praise for the fulfillment of scripture. In the new work, Hope: An Advent Journey, author Olu Brown encourages readers to reclaim Advent as something already here, not a season waiting to arrive. Matthew's gospel speaks of Jesus as Emmanuel, which means "God with us." This name does not speak of the future, but of the present.
In spite of our present difficulties, we have Emmanuel. Our hope is not based on external situations, but eternal promises. This Advent season can be the best ever if you dare to embrace the hope of Jesus right now, knowing that God's grace and love are present to carry you through the most challenging times in your life.
About the Author: At age 17, while giving the eulogy at his grandfather's funeral, Rev. Olu Brown heard what he later realized was an audible call to ministry: "I want to tell young people how to get to heaven." The way he would articulate that call changed over time, but it served as a pivotal moment for him and ultimately set him on a path to become a pastor.
"It was a heart-strangely-warmed moment for me," he said. "I feel deeply committed and called to shepherding people along a path that helps them to discover their own faith."
Several decades later, Brown is living out that call and bearing fruit. He started Impact Church in 2007, and by 2016, the Atlanta-area congregation worshiped more than 2,000 each week and had become the 56th-fastest growing church in America.
Previous Books by Olu Brown:
Leadership Directions From Moses (Abingdon)4D Impact (Abingdon)